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            november 12, 2019

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OOCL warns of unspecified low sulphur bunker surcharge from January 1


Hong Kong's Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has issued a warning to the trade that an unspecified bunker surcharge for costly low sulphur fuel, 60 per cent more expensive than standard bunker, will be applied from January 1, according to Shipping Gazette.
The exact surcharge will be determined by the length of a voyage through emission control areas covering North American coastal and inland waters as well as northern Europe's English Channel, North Sea and Baltic Sea.
"At this time, it is very difficult to predict the exact financial impact of this new regulation due to the unpredictable and fluctuating nature of fuel prices," said the OOCL statement.
Under the new regime, a Hong Kong-LA run would only have to traverse 200 nautical miles outside LA and would be relatively inexpensive.
Not so a voyage from St Petersburg to Montreal voyage, which involves 5,000 costly miles through the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel before reaching control-free open water, after which one enters another control zone off Newfoundland to pay for eco-fuel 1,000 miles to Montreal.
Said OOCL: "Once the new regulation is in effect, it is our intention to adjust our Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) formula to incorporate the new fuel costs, using the actual ratio required on the round voyage. We will continue to provide customers with the minimum required statutory notice period."

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